MP-1978.107.150 | Moving Day(?), Eviction(?), Montreal, QC, about 1930
Moving Day(?), Eviction(?), Montreal, QC, about 1930
Anonyme - Anonymous
About 1930, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
12 x 17 cm
Purchase from Napoleon Antiques
© McCord Museum
Keywords: basin (1) , chair (2) , cityscape (422) , Cityscape (3948) , Eviction ? (1) , furniture (3) , Montreal (409) , Moving Day ? (2) , Photograph (77678) , stove (2) , streetscape (1737) , streetscape (187) , table (2) , tarpaulin (1)
Keys to History
For many Canadians, housing was a pressing problem. Relief payments, though they crippled municipal finances, were too low to cover the rent on all but the smallest, filthiest and most run-down apartments. Many of those who were still working part- or even full-time could not afford much better.
The inability to make rental payments led to many involuntary moves. Families often shared sub-standard dwellings in the slums found in all the larger towns. The lieutenant-governor of Ontario, Dr. Herbert B. Bruce (1868-1963), reported in 1934 that Toronto needed at least 25,000 new dwellings if the city's population was to be adequately housed. Similar reports could have been made of Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
The caption of this picture leaves up in the air whether the owners of this furniture chose to move or were evicted. In the absence of a moving van, the latter seems likely.
Montreal had large slums in the eastern and southern sections of the city. North and west of Mount Royal the neighbourhoods were much better.
The 1945 novel Bonheur d'occasion (The Tin Flute) by Gabrielle Roy (1909-1983), describes Saint-Henri, a Montreal neighbourhood with many slum dwellings, just as war was ending the Depression.
A populist Conservative, Camillien Houde (1889-1958) was the mayor of Montreal in 1928-32, 1934-36 1938-40, and again for six years after the Second World War.